May 21, 2014 2:31 PM EDT

House Democrats will participate a new Republican investigation into the 2012 attack on a consulate in Libya that left four Americans dead, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday.

Pelosi appointed five Democrats to the select committee investigating the attack, which she and her party have decried as a political witch hunt: Reps. Elijah Cummings, Adam Smith, Adam Schiff, Linda Sanchez and Tammy Duckworth.

The so-called select committee, announced about two weeks ago by House Speaker John Boehener, is the latest of numerous GOP probes into the Sept. 11, 2012 attack in Benghazi, in which Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed. Boehner formed the committee after the release of a previously undisclosed email offered new details about the Obama Administration’s role in shaping talking points to describe the attack in its aftermath.

Democrats have argued there is nothing more to gain from another investigation into an attack that has been reviewed numerous times while becoming a lightning rod for criticism from conservatives. But they ultimately decided they were better off getting involved than staying on the sidelines.

“I believe we need someone in the room to simply defend the truth,” said Cummings, who will be the ranking Democrat on the panel.

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